Commandment is in Hebrew, Strong’s H4687, mitsvah. The primitive root is Strong’s H6680, tsavah, tsadey vav hey. In the ancient Hebrew pictographs, the tsadey is the man lying on his side, as if a hunter in wait for prey. The letter conveys the idea of side, then, or lying in wait, chase, hunt, or snare. The vav is the tent peg, which was used to secure one thing to another. So the meaning can be add to, secure, or hook. The hey is the man standing with his arms raised, as if in exclamation. It can mean to look, reveal, breath, breathe, or sigh. The mountain top meaning, then, from the pictographs, which five- year- olds can understand by looking at the stick figures, is to lay upon the man a revelation.
The lexicons say it means to lay a charge upon. That might be imposing the English meaning of the word onto the Hebrew. I like revelation – it carries the picture of a man who did not know what to do or how to walk, but then when YHVH reveals to him His way of walking, His mitsvah, the man can now walk YHVH’s way instead of his own way. The English of these words – commandments, law, statutes, and judgments – carries so much baggage of courtrooms and punishment with it. The Hebrew shows us it is rather more like instruction, as a father does his child.
Of course, the Father wants His children to take to heart His instructions. Why? Not to make us righteous in His sight, we learned! When YHVH gave His mitsvah to Moses and Israel, they had already applied the blood of the Passover lamb to the doorposts of their houses; they had already been delivered from death the destroyer; they had already been set free from bondage in Egypt! They had already passed through the Red Sea, which Paul taught us was a picture of baptism (1 Cor 10:1-2).
In other words, God had – past tense – made them the children of His house! Now that they were children, now that they were free and not slaves any more, He was laying upon them His way of walking by revelation. He wanted them to walk in His way, Moses tells us over and over and over again in Deuteronomy, so that they will live (Deu 4:1), so that it will be well with them, so that it will be well with their sons (Deu 4:40), so that they will prosper, so that they will be in health, so that blessings will come upon them and overtake them (Deu 28:1-14)! Blessings follow obedience!
Every good earthly father does the same. Because he has lived in the world for awhile, he knows that if his children do things one way, it will go bad for them, but if they do things another way, it will go good for them. Because the father loves his children, he wants good for them, so he instructs them in his way. There is a reason the Word of God calls YHVH our heavenly Father and we His children! God is trying to show us something by that!